Sanders’ thievery saves the day in comeback victory
With the ubiquitous Sanders nabbing two passes on defense and rolling up 223 total yards on offense, the Eagles were able to contain Normangee and hold off the Panthers’ late surge on Friday night as 2-0 Milano remained undefeated on the year with a 20-12 win in the first road trip this season.
The senior Sanders did a standout job on offense and defense.
At quarterback, Sanders was 8 of 22 passing for 137 yards and a touchdown. On the ground he compiled 86 yards on 22 carries and another score.
On defense, Sanders had two key interceptions to help seal Milano’s win. He snagged away a two-point conversion pass attempt from Normangee after a late score in the game to close the game to 20-12.
All that hard work may have gotten the best of Sanders, as he almost collapsed after the game and had to be given fluids through an IV while still at the stadium.
Eagles head coach Craig Jentsch said it was a very physical game on Friday.
“We are a little banged up, but will be ready to go on Friday,” he said. “Toby is going (to play) this week.”
Normangee put points on the board first, with quarterback Elijah Easton punching in from four yards out with 3:13 left in the opening quarter.
Milano answered back twice in the second quarter.
Sanders would find Dominique Messer down the sidelines for a 52 catch and touchdown just nine seconds into the quarter. Jordan Millar’s point after kick gave the Eagles a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
Just three minutes later, Millar would score on a 30 yard run, his first touchdown of the year, and also add the extra point. The Eagles would take a 14-6 lead into halftime.
Normangee’s adjustments during the break included coming out in a no huddle offense. Milano struggled with penalties, racking up 71 yards on 11 yellow hankies.
“We had too many penalties. We have to do a better job. We can’t give up 71 yards of offense (to the other team),” Jentsch said.
Milano was able to put up their final score with 9:37 left in the game on a two yard run by Sanders. The PAT missed.
The Panthers didn’t give up, marching down the field to pay dirt. Bryson Cornish punched in from the six with 4:57 left in the ball game to close the game to 20-12.
Easton’s two-point conversion pass attempt was picked off in the end zone by Sanders.
The teams would change possessions again before time ran out.
Sanders would get that final interception around midfield, returning it to the Normangee 20 to secure the Milano win.
Jentsch said he’ll take the win, but was a little disappointed in not having more points.
“We ran 72 plays in the game with 46 in the first half. I thought we should have scored more,” he said. “We have to start taking advantage when we have the opportunities (to score).”
Millar was the Eagles’ top rusher with 117 yards on 14 carries.
Messer was the top receiver with 112 yards on just four catches.
Shane Conrad led the Panther attack with 97 yards on 10 carries, but never made it into the end zone.
Stormy Spikes was Normangee’s top receiver with five catches for 40 yards.
On defense, Milano was able to get a lot of pressure on Panther quarterback Easton, a high note Jentsch said.
Messer led the team in tackles with 16, followed by Millar and Tyler Prazak with nine each.
The Eagle defense caused four fumbles, recovering three of them, had three interceptions and four pass deflections on the night.
SCOUTING IOLA—This is homecoming week in Milano with lots going on before the Eagles face off against Iola at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Pruett Field.
The Bulldogs are coming off a 20-13 win over Bartlett last week.
Iola was led last week by tight end Tyson Tindol who caught a 14 yard touchdown, game-winning pass and another for 24 yards.
“ They are better than they have been since I’ve been here,” Jentsch said. “They have a very athletic quarterback, a big offensive line and a huge tight end. They have a lot of kids so not many have to play both sides of the ball.”
JUNIOR VARSITY—Milano’s junior varsity squad is now even on the year at 1-1, after falling to College Station High School’s JV squad 13-12 on Thursday at Pruett Field.
J.D. Gibbons had 100 yards rushing with touchdown. It was his second straight game to reach the century mark in rushing yardage. Cody Alexander had a fumble recovery for the Eagles other score on the night.
Mitchell Henson blocked a punt, Blake Harless recovered a fumble and Trevor Gann caused another fumble on the night.
The JV will travel to Iola on Thursday. The Eagles’ junior high team will also head to Iola on Thursday for their first game of the year.
Games will start at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday.
milano 20, NORM ANGEE 12
|NORM—||Elijah Easton 4 run||(||kick||failed)|
|MILANO—||Dominique Messer||52||pass from|
|Toby||Sanders (Jordan Millar||kick)||11:51|
|MILANO—||Millar 30 run (||Millar||kick) 8:58|
|MILANO—||Sanders 2 run (kick||failed) 9:37|
|NORM—||Br||yson Cornish 6||run||(pass|
RUSHING—Milano: Millar 14-117 TD;
Sanders 22-86 TD; Chance Pack 9-47;
Derek Walton, 1-5; Mik Mader 1-1. Normangee: Shane Conrad 10-97; Easton
13-33 TD; Cornish 8-40 TD.
PASSING—Milano: Sanders 8-22-1 137
yards TD; Millar 0-1-0 0 yards. Normangee: Easton 7-15-2 42 yards.
RECEIVING—Milano: Messer 4-112 TD;
Mader 3-19, Millar 1-6. Normangee:
Stormy Spikes 5-40; Bo Billsing 1-8.
TACKLES—Milano: Messer 16, Millar 9,
Tyler Prazak 9, Alex Ferrara 7, Trent Ellison
6, Derek Walton 6.
MILANO SEASON LEADERS
RUSHING—Millar 18-169 TD; Sanders 26-142 2TD; Pack 15-126; Gallarado 10-67 2TD; Neal 6-54 TD; Derek Walton 6-29.
PASSING—Sanders 10-29-1 161 yards 2TD; Millar 0-1-0 0.
RECEIVING—Messer 5-128 2TD; Mader 3-19; Grimes 1-8; Millar 1-6.
TACKLES—Messer 25, Tyler Prazak 16, Millar 12, Walton 8, Ellison 8, Ferrara 8, Sanders 6.
This week—Milano vs. Iola (homecoming); Bartlett vs. Central Texas Christian School; Burton at Louise; Granger vs. Bremond; Somerville at Flatonia; Snook at Bryan-St. Joseph.
Last week—Milano 20, Normangee 12; Iola 20, Bartlett 13; Burton 29, Chilton 21; Granger 28, Holland 14; Thorndale 54, Somerville 16; Brazos Christian 26, Snook 13.